The price is not super far off from the L however given the other new lenses they have released it probably is sharp at F2. For those merging or adding video to their work its going to be real good for that and the is may be handy for low light since its the hybrid is. The new 35 F1.4 LII that comes out, god knows when, will probably be $1800. The optics are probably designed for the future hi resolution cameras that come out in the next 5 years at least that would make sense. I personally will probably get this lens for shooting finish line shots for sports given that i sold my 24-70 and liked the 35mm focal length for that. However, I want to see reviews and learn more before dropping the cash. The compromise would also be that i would need to use a rain sleeve for my equipment shooting events in bad weather which I havent had to do with my 1dm3 and 24-70 or 70-200, still it is just smart to protect it.
new the 35L is $1,329.00
new the 35F2 is $849.00
If $500 is a lot to you then the F2 is it. Personally I'd get the F2 and if you needed more power or weather proofing built in due to using it in bad weather conditions then the L is it but then I doubt it offers much more than the F2 until or unless they get a F1.2 35mm on the books in which case bam! that would be a must buy but also be $2500 if it did see the light of day.
This is semi-OT, but something to consider if the 35mm F2 is on the plate for anyone:
How well do you rate the weather-sealing of the sealed Canon lenses? I took my 24-70L and my 5d2 to Burning Man this past summer. I gaffer taped the hell out of it, as well as wrapped it in plastic bags from the convenient store. I was smart enough to put it in my bag when I wasn't using it (or when huge dust storms flew by) but it was still in inhospitable weather for a week, and the parts that were not taped/covered had dust all over them. At our first stop for food on the way out, I wiped it down a/ baby-wipe and took off the tape: it was in beautiful shape. I was really pumped.
My only regret was, as it was taped and bagged up, using a zoom. I also took some night shots and the extra F-stop (or two) from a fast prime would have been money VERY well spent. So, I'm in the market for a fast 35mm or 50mm for next year. Caveat: I'm experiencing physical arousal for Zeiss right now as I just got my first one. Thinking of getting a 35 or 50 of that flavor, but as I will be wrapping it up again, that focus ring makes it impossible to use at the event.
Sry to ramble. Could anyone expect such harsh conditions to wreak havoc on a 35mm F2? Not sure if the OP is going to be in the rain, but at this point, it could be the major difference (other than the F-stop) between the two lenses.